Seat Ateca long-term test

The Ateca remains one of our favourite family SUVs, even after two years on sale. We're set to find out whether it's still got what it takes to stand out against newer rivals...

Seat Ateca long term
  • The car Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI Evo 150 Xcellence DSG
  • Run by Allan Muir, managing editor
  • Why it's here To find out how the Ateca distinguishes itself in a sea of outwardly similar family SUVs
  • Needs to Be notably more enjoyable to drive than any of its peers, without sacrificing practicality and comfort

Mileage 1295 List price £28,270 Target Price £25,858 Price as tested £28,385 Options Space-saver spare wheel (£115) Test economy 28.6mpg Official economy 40.4mpg (WLTP) Contract hire £289 per month Insurance group 18 Typical insurance quote £562 per year

21 March 2019 – One for the load

The load-carrying abilities of my Seat Ateca were put to the test recently when a couple of pieces of new furniture were delivered by truck to Chez Muir, wrapped in what seemed like an excessive amount of packaging. A living room’s worth of flattened cardboard boxes and chunks of polystyrene therefore had to be taken to the recycling centre, and the Ateca had no trouble swallowing the load with its rear seatbacks folded down.

Seat Ateca long term

Although there’s a step in the extended boot floor, it wasn’t an obstacle when it came to sliding the sizeable but quite light items into and out of the load bay. In fact, the Ateca has one of the bigger boots in the family SUV class, beating the rival Nissan Qashqai with the seats up or down, although it can’t match the Skoda Karoq for ultimate carrying capacity in two-seat mode. The fact that you can drop the seatbacks via handles just inside the boot opening is proving convenient, too.

Another aspect of the Ateca’s interior that I appreciate on a daily basis is the logical layout and easy operation of the minor controls – those on the dashboard and centre console, at least. The three rotary knobs and the associated buttons for the climate control are a straightforward joy to use compared with the touchscreen-located ones in the Volvo XC40 for example.

Seat Ateca long term

There is an exception, though. To activate the heated windscreen, you have to push the physical setup button, which takes you into the touchscreen infotainment system, where the relevant icon is located. This is less convenient than having a physical button on the dashboard, mainly because, when you start the Seat Ateca, you have to wait for the infotainment to boot up before you can then turn on the heated windscreen, slowing down the process somewhat. Fortunately, the heating element is highly effective, clearing the screen within seconds, although I find that the zig-zag filaments affect my vision a little at night when I’m faced with oncoming cars’ headlights.

This is a minor issue in what is otherwise an excellent interior, though.

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